ABC News Has Given Us the Word of the Week: PALTER
On Saturday, March 12, ABC News with its web edition emblazoned the headline: “Democrats, some Republicans, condemn Preet Bharara being ‘fired’.”
This, folks, is “paltering” and why the press continues to lose credibility with the public – especially conservatives.
Paltering is using truthful facts to deceive. This is what ABC News did sadly and the press we count on to be an honest check and balance and watch dog continually do now. Their motto: “Agenda Trumps Facts.”
If one was to only read the headline, which most people do, one would assume that there are national Republican elected officials upset by the firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. This was not then or now the case.
Read the whole story -- the two Republicans complaining are GOP legislators in New York. In politics, like life, we cheer the hometown team. This is why we have times where people being appointed as cabinet secretaries often have their state’s federal delegation, whether they belong to the same political party or not, sing their praises. This case was no different.
ABC News knows this or they need to go back to college. ABC News is guilty of “paltering” and trying to use some hometown cheerleading to imply that Republican elected officials outside of blue New York are upset about this. Folks, the reality is a majority of Republicans in New York would and do support Trump firing an obstinate at-will federal employee. Yes, Mr. Bharara was a federal employee.
So before you move on to your next quality read (thank you for reading), please know the following facts:
First, Democrat or Republican presidents have asked for the resignation of U.S. attorneys when they have taken office. Go back to Jimmy Carter, then Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton (Attorney General Jeff Sessions being one of those asked by Clinton), George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
Second, this is a commonality going back decades now, and one most certainly not unknown nor unconsidered by someone being asked to serve as a U.S. attorney. With that in mind, if Mr. Bharara were not worried about his position, knowing past precedent, why did he find it necessary in November to meet with President-elect Trump to clarify his job?
Third, honest political reporters know this precedent. As a result of the press political agenda, NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reminded the public of this “tradition” of the incoming president asking for and getting the resignation of any or all of the 93 U.S. attorneys who have typically being appointed by the predecessor. U.S. attorneys, like any Cabinet secretary, are at-will employees, serving at the will of the president and attorney general. If you don’t believe that, do a little reading or you can simply be lazy and watch Showtime’s “Billions.”
The maddening thing about this recent "paltering" episode is that is becoming more and more common. Reporters are just not guilty of this. So are their high-brow editors who will do anything to push their political agenda and idea of utopia. Let’s stop reading the headlines and start digging into the stories and holding reporters and their editors accountable. We need an honest, objective press. It’s important for our country.
Chuck Warren is Senior Managing Director, September Group, LLC (www.septembergroupllc.com) and Managing Director, Monolith Registry, LLC (www.Get.Vote). You can read his other OpEds on ChuckWarren.co